Herb infused, free range rotisserie chicken, organic rosemary fingerling potatoes, tender Sonoma Valley lamb and juicy, crispy porchetta are just a few of the tantalizing delights that have earned Roli Roti the nickname, ‘Grandfather of Gourmet Street Food’.
As a son of a Swiss ‘Metzgermeister’, or master butcher, Thomas Odermatt literally grew up in his family’s butcher shop in the Swiss Alps. This humble little shop, pictured on the left, is where Thomas learned his family's secrets of succulent, tender rotisserie.
From his father, Otto, he learned the importance of using the right cuts for the right purpose, and of choosing only select, free range meats raised by trusted family farms. From his mother, Maria, he learned the family’s recipes for savory rotisserie, a specialty their shop prepared for customers on Saturdays. Though all the other butcher shops in the village offered rotisserie, only at Metzgerei Odermatt was there a line out the door and around the corner.
“I am first a farmer, second a chef.”
Thomas earned his masters degree in organic farming from ETH, Zürich then traveled to the US to continue his education at UC Berkeley. He was captivated, instead, by the local, gourmet food scene developing in Berkeley. The wood fired ovens of Chez Panisse and the lively Farmers’ Markets resonated with him. Yet he soon realized that freshly cooked, healthy street food was nonexistent in the US.
“No one in America was serving simple, wholesome food on the go.”
Meanwhile the rotisserie dinners Thomas prepared for friends were so wildly popular that he was inspired to fill this particular niche, by taking his family recipes on the road – indeed, to the streets. And the idea for Roli Roti, Gourmet Mobile Rotisserie was born.
Today, Thomas and his family are passionate about sharing their slow food values, family recipes, and delicious rotisserie at farmers’ markets across the Bay Area.